Christian Adams

Taxicab Mandarin: How to Navigate Your Way through China

The goal of this article would be to provide some very basic Mandarin to be used in taxis by people who don’t speak Mandarin, however, “Taxicab Mandarin” is also an informal level of Chinese language acquisition, e.g. I speak enough Mandarin to tell the taxi driver where to go; hence, the taxicab element. Meanwhile, this(…)


Expats Abroad: You May or May Not Have Mail

The contingencies of expat life are myriad, fluid, unique, and occasionally blessed with exception. While contending with a mind-boggling number of challenges in your new home, the life you’ve “left behind” doesn’t end as much as it lingers in the distant background. Today’s digital nomad may be free to roam the planet, but somewhere, someplace,(…)


5 Things You Should Never Ever Do in Taiwan

Most travel guides have etiquette sections for Asia-bound travelers and would-be expats, and most of those contain situationally relevant advice for Taiwan, e.g.: Don’t stick your chopsticks standing upright in a bowl of rice, ostensibly because it resembles the incense burned at Buddhist temples. Never use your hands to beckon someone, and never gift clocks,(…)


Health Care Abroad: Something to Consider

Several months ago, I found myself, once again, in a Taipei City Hospital emergency room. It was a fairly busy evening patient-wise and I was lying on a gurney in the far corner of the lobby with an IV drip tagged to my wrist, waiting to be admitted for further care. This vantage point offered(…)


7 Common and (Sometimes) Disastrous Mistakes of Newbies in Taiwan

The rookie ex-pat. Those that have lived abroad have been there: floundering, anxious, and overwhelmed. Like most jokes, it’s funny unless it’s happening to you. For the record, nearly every mistake described herein was committed by yours truly at some point in my journey; thus, I have a confident familiarity with both classes of mistakes.(…)


How the Stereotypes of Nationality, Ethnicity, Race, and Gender May Affect Your Expat Experience

The scope of my expat experience is limited to Asia. However, an informal survey of random online expat forums – as a member and visitor – confirms my suspicions: It’s the same everywhere, and by “it”, I mean the conditional happiness of people trying to make the nut* in foreign countries. *Make the nut =(…)


The 10 Sacred Words and Phrases Every Visitor to a Mandarin-Speaking Country Should Know

Whether you’re planning a short trip or a permanent move to a Mandarin-speaking country, you would be doing yourself (and ostensibly, others) a tremendous disservice by not familiarizing yourself with the basics of the language. In other words, it’s in your best interest to have – at the bare minimum – a handful of utilitarian(…)


5 Myths About Teaching English in Asia, Busted

Thinking about leaving your comfort zone for a crack at teaching English in Asia? Not so fast. Before you even think about purchasing an airfare, for heaven’s sake, do your homework. Here are five of the more predominant myths about teaching English in Asia, busted: 1. Anybody can do it Residency requirements vary from country(…)